Release a bit of your own familiar today!

hope-despair“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”   – Alan Cohen

How “playing it safe” can be dangerous!

adulthood is like looking both waysActually, this reminds me more of my experience at midlife. I had lived my entire life so carefully, remaining single until 39, and then in a bad marriage and the wrong career, just to “play it safe.” Then when my major crisis hit at age 49, I felt so perplexed.

I remember saying to myself: “I spent my entire life playing it safe, just so I wouldn’t end up like this!”

Too bad I had to wait so long to learn exactly how dangerous “playing it safe” can be!

if-you-obey-all-the-rules-you-miss-all-the-fun Katherine HepburnNow, at age 60, I agree much more with Katherine Hepburn: So many rules, so little time to break them! I break those little rules in my head all of the time now. In fact I try to break at least one a day!

Do you have silly rules that keep you from getting the life you really want?

tell negative committee to shut upDo you have your own ‘itsy bitsy shitty committee’ in your head, that keeps telling you: “You shouldn’t do that!” Does it tell you regularly that you can’t possibly find the kind of love you seek? Tell it to SHUT UP right now, and then go out and find the best kind of love you can!

That’s what I did at age 49. I stopped focusing on the negative experiences in my past, and moved on to the kind of love I had always been looking for, and it worked!

past better not bitterNow, eleven years later, I am living a marvelous life in a solar home in southern Colorado with a prince of a partner, one who would not think of criticizing me. He believes in me!

the time is nowLove is real and the only thing that counts in the end.

Decide that you will somehow find your best kind of love, and then go out and find it TODAY!

If you feel you need some help in this difficult transition from negative to positive, please check out my book! And for some more excellent reading on this topic, check out this article by one of my favorite writers!

Bad News: Post-Valentine’s Day Is The Peak Season for Separation and Divorce

divorce1As resolutions for a new year die, family attorneys everywhere prepare for the onslaught of separations and divorce filings.

Did you know that lawyers’ offices usually fill with spouses seeking divorce after “the holidays?” When all of that family togetherness did not magically heal their marriage, matrimonial bliss takes a tumble. In addition to failed expectations, the holidays can cause financial and family pressures to soar!

According to a 2012 study published in The Family Relations Journal, “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce,” researchers Jeffrey Dew, Sonya Britt and Sandra Huston found that most couples argue about their children, money, in-laws and quality time – or a lack thereof – with financial arguments being the most likely predictor of divorce.

So if you, too, have felt outraged by a lack of holiday joy in your partner, I offer a few words to the wise on how to make the post-holiday bliss transition from unhappily married to single and ready to mingle.

Don’t let Valentine’s Day disappoint. Valentine’s is the holiday of love. Unfortunately it often can amplify the disappointment in a relationship without romance.

A recent survey shows the top things couples fight about:

1. Someone making a mess around the house.

2. Money.

3. Chores.

4. Relatives.

5. The children.

6. Sex.

7. Going out.

8. Past relationships.

Don’t let the post-Valentine’s Day blues get you down. Just decide for yourself where you want your life to go next and do it. Don’t blame others if you cannot create the life you most desire. You decide what’s next for you!

Are You Living in Fear or Love?

It seems like a natural human instinct to hold back from loving others wholeheartedly. After all, that so often leads to great pain. I have a number of difficult memories of times when I have fought this battle within myself.

Counseling helped me to stop defending against those who truly love me, and give back wholeheartedly. I remember one particular workshop I attended where we were told to simply sit silently and receive love from another human being. Try that sometime if you think it’s easy! The trick is in convincing yourself that the love, support, affection, attention you will receive in love, will be worth the pain of its natural impermanence.

First you must be able to actually receive love, take it into your heart and believe this person truly cares about you. This has always been a challenge to me, believing that this wonderful person in my life finds me wonderful. This can be such an amazing feeling if you can learn to simply let it all in!

Valentines Day flowers
My Advice: Don’t Hold Back, Open Wholeheartedly to Love!

Here’s the deal, you only have one short lifetime. Do you want to spend it fending off the love of others? Fear is no way to live in my opinion, and I lived that way for decades of my life. Yes, you may have a little less pain, but think of all the joy you will miss!

Now I, of all people, know this is no easy process to switch from fear to love in your approach to life, but please trust me, it is so worth the effort. There are excellent counselors everywhere who would love to help you trust and believe in love again. You just have to decide to be open to a different way of seeing and experiencing your life.

That is my Valentine’s Day present to you, the knowledge that love will be worth it, if you are willing to open to its power.

“In the end
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?”
Gautama Buddha

What are your own barriers to love?

Front window orchid cactusYour task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it…” 
RUMI 

The moment I saw this quote, I knew it held most of the truth behind any search for love in this world. I know for me, the greatest barrier has always been my faith in the fact that I was deserving of the best kind of affection, attention and appreciation. Once I confronted that barrier and did battle with it, love arrived at my door. And the best part was that I recognized it for exactly what it was and accepted that love wholeheartedly.

I know it sounds too simple to say that we must find ourselves absolutely lovable before we will find and accept love from others, but I’m afraid this is the truth behind most of our struggles. Most of us are unconsciously fighting off affection, when it does not match the way we see ourselves. How can this person see so much to love in me when I do not see it myself? Is this some kind of fraud or manipulation?

Because so many of us have suffered wounds in our past, loving ourselves or feeling deserving of love can be a great challenge. That is why I wrote my book: How To Believe In Love Again.

I struggled with these demons for decades before I finally did the necessary soul surgery and found my way back to a healthy sense of loving myself and feeling worthy of the love of others.

You can too.  What have you got to lose except your loneliness?